After losing a truck to engine failure when its fleet driver didn’t stay up-to-date on oil changes, Fick Bros. started looking into other options to keep up on regular vehicle maintenance.
“Trying to manage the fleet and manage maintenance is challenging when you have so many variables,” says Dan Williams, production manager for Fick Bros., a roofing and exterior remodeling company. “Some trucks stay in the shop at night and other trucks are taken home by drivers.”
Maintaining the vehicles required some effort from drivers. “We relied on them to take the fleet vehicles to a Jiffy Lube or other service locations to get the oil changed and tires rotated, but they weren’t always doing it regularly,” says Williams.
And when the drivers did remember, the task took valuable time out of their workday.
Located in Baltimore, Fick Bros. runs a fleet of 13 to 15 vehicles, including cargo vans, pickup trucks, and two-ton dump trucks. Currently, the company leases some vehicles from Enterprise Fleet Management and purchases one to two new vehicles per year.
Founded in 2017, Slick is a mobile service platform that provides oil changes, tire rotations, fuel, and vehicle cleaning 24 hours a day — at the customer’s location of choice.
“Our mobile platform connects our maintenance technicians to the end user; it’s like Uber for oil changes,” says Joe Manzari, founder and CEO of Slick, who says while most clients are traditional commercial fleets, though the company is also starting to work with ridesharing fleets. “Ridesharing is based on utilization, and we can get to them quickly for maintenance and cleaning.”
Each of Slick’s Chevy Express vans are stocked with equipment for oil changes, specialized vacuums for cleaning, and a tire lab with a wheel balancer for rotating tires; the company doesn’t need extra trailers to pull its equipment.
“Our customized vans allow us to be more nimble,” says Manzari. “We can work on vehicles on the side of a road, at a client’s work site, or in a parking garage.”
Slick follows green principles for each of its services. For maintenance, the company has a proprietary oil handling system inside its vans that allows technicians to dispense and extract oil without risking a spill. Slick recycles all used oil and filters.
By using Slick for oil changes, fluid top offs, and tire rotations, Fick Bros. is now able to get its vehicles serviced on-site during staff meetings.
“It’s been very convenient having Slick technicians come to our office while our drivers are in all-day meetings twice a month,” says Williams. “Slick does a preventive multi-point inspection on our vehicles and provides us with a report of what needs to be repaired. Dropping off the vehicles at a repair shop increased our vehicle downtime, which is hard for a small fleet like us.”
Williams uses vehicle diagnostics information from the vehicles’ telematic system to schedule maintenance. Through Slick’s app, Williams enters each vehicle’s number and the date to schedule the services. On the scheduled date, Slick technicians arrive by 6:30 a.m.
Additionally, Slick’s prices are reasonable and equivalent to going to Jiffy Lube, according to Williams.
“From a pricing standpoint, we aren't really paying a premium (over a service shop),” he says. “Plus, you aren't paying for the driver to take the truck and wait for it.”